In regard to EV sedans or sports coupes such as the recent Tesla Model S or the BMW i8, there are seldom any models that look really bad, with the exception of the Toyota Prius. The opposite is true for EV hatchbacks – they seldom look good.
Most of the time, the main culprits are the Nissan Leaf and BMW i3. The Chevrolet Bolt has just joined the circus, and while ‘attractive’ isn’t an adjective for the new Chevy hatch, it doesn’t look as ungainly as the Leaf or i3.
Perhaps the word for it is ‘pragmatic’. It is built for ride-sharing after all, so leg and shoulder room were understandably the top priorities for GM in the drawing room.
But there aren’t many excuses for the Nissan Leaf, which had consumers grimacing at its ant-like face. That would of course change with total redesign on the second-gen 2017 model, but chances are it may still fail to impress especially after reading the expression of Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn when he had a little tour of the Bolt for the first time earlier this year.
At the end of the day, the Nissan Leaf has managed to find many buyers, which means that many are actually okay with its looks. The same cannot be said for the BMW i3, which actually has some design aspects that aren’t too bad – it’s just that on the whole, its look doesn’t work.
It suffers from an unusually high ground clearance for the rest of its dimensions which actually belies its stellar handling abilities. When standing next to the German EV hatch, it actually seems awkwardly tall, especially when considering the length of its wheelbase.
Out of all three mass market EV hatchbacks, the Bolt is perhaps the most appealing in its styling in that it is the most inoffensive. The yet to be seen 2017 Nissan Leaf could change that; let’s hope that it does.